The Telegraph
Tuesday , April 29 , 2014
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Soccer fan, your countdown pal’s back at stadium

- Defunct after National Games, digital scorecard ticks back to life for I-League at JRD Tata complex

Nail-biting final minutes, home team trapped in an equaliser. They are those anxious moments when the digital scorecard display — or simply the display clock — at the stadium becomes as important as the goalpost.

The digital score clock installed by the state government in 2010 for the 34th National Games in early 2011 at JRD Tata Sports Complex, Jamshedpur, had gone defunct after the event. It is ticking again, thanks to Tata Steel sports department.

The steel major spent around Rs 58,000 to repair the time indicator, roping in New Delhi-based Shiv Naresh Sports Pvt. Ltd for the job. The clock had cost around Rs 4 lakh to put up in the first place.

“We always wanted to see the clock ticking again. Finally, we decided to get it repaired in time for (the ongoing) Under-19 I-League. Since the clock is exclusively used for soccer matches, we thought the I-League matches were good timing,” smiled Charles Borromeo, head of sports department.

“We will soon appoint an agency to maintain it annually,” he added.

Ajay Yadav, systems operator with Shiv Naresh Sports Pvt Ltd, said lack of maintenance was the main culprit.

“We installed the clock in 2010 for the 2011 National Games. The clock displays the names of teams, scores and timings. A scroll on the lower part displays names of the tournament and chief guest,” he said.

According to Yadav, the switch mode power supply (SMPS) cards, programming IC as well as the USB were damaged.

“Once the Games were over, there was no one to look after the clock. Sophisticated machinery needs maintenance. We have installed similar digital clocks in New Delhi and all are operational as they are maintained properly,” he said.

Rains played a big part in damaging the machinery, Yadav added. “I have asked Tata Steel sports department authorities to cover the clock case with an extra tin roof to protect it from rains. Extra roofing before the monsoon will really help,” he said.

Soccer players and spectators are happy watching the clock ticking.

“The clock helps us know how much time left in the match, especially in the crunch minutes. It keeps excitement levels up,” said Saish, a budding footballer from Sesa Goa.

Paritosh Singh, an ardent soccer fan, agreed.

“I’d seen this clock ticking during the women’s matches in the 34th National Games. It made a real difference. Frankly, it’s great to see it ticking back,” he said.

Is the clock the heartbeat of a football match? Tell